Monday, June 17, 2013

Local Poetry in Halifax

An espaliered fruit tree at Annapolis Royal Botanical Garden, Nova Scotia
Well, here's something new to me. I heard about this a year ago, but last week a hard copy of a poetry journal was placed in my hands and voila!

Open Heart Farming, The Second Seeding, Vol 2. is now available at

Open Heart's mandate is simple, yet powerful. It is an annual journal of poems on food and farming by Nova Scotians. It is published by Open Heart Forgery, Halifax's grass roots poetry journal. Each month there is a free, downloadable collection and they ask you to share it with others.

Here we have a different kind of garden, local effort, local art, inspired by local greens or not, if there's a drought. It is modest, humble and perfectly beautiful.

There is an annual Anthology, available at Bookmark for $10 or you can order it online (I think)

I'd like to share with you two poems, one by a Quaker Friend, Sylvia Mangalam and the other because I like it. Of course, I like Sylvia's as well, but there is the Quaker connection that is always fun to toss out.

Fall Rite by Sylvia Mangalam

The Kentucky Blue bean swelled
Bigger than they should.
Tired of the garden,
I picked them anyway.

It's a sort of rite
This anticlimatic harvest
Reaching for the high fat ones,
Rounded over full seeds.

Gathering up the dry corn--
What can I do with this?
The last green tomatoes,
Last marjoram sprigs--

This genuflecting gleaning
Respects all the work here
Of God, of worms, of me.

And this one by Jaywant (Joe) Patil

Fruitless Tree (inspired by Luke 13:6-9)
The farmer about to chop down the tree
which had been fruitless for year three.
Give me another chance begged the tree.
I will be fruitful for sure next year,
if you fertilize and dig around me this year.
Everyone deserves a second chance sire.

These two poems have a spiritual dimension, but there are lots of plain old secular poems as well. One dedicated to hops, another to alfalfa, another to saltwater.

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